A New Era of Davidson Wrestling
Last Saturday Davidson Wrestling invited members of the media to their workout and practice.
New Head Coach Nate Carr’s energy was immediately evident in the wrestling room. The room, located on the first floor of the Baker Sports complex, is down a long hallway on the north side of Belk Arena. The floor of the large room is covered completely by a red, padded wrestling mat. The back of the room has wall mats with two-foot-tall lettering – “DAVIDSON WRESTLING.” Other phrases on the walls include: “Wildcats Never Quit” and “Protect this House – I Will”, as well as a big logo reflecting 100 years of Davidson Wrestling.
Several times during our visit, Carr was on the mat – going 1-v-1 with one of his scholar-athletes – showing them moves and coaching them in real-time.
Nate Carr Jr. arrived in Davidson in September, and immediately got to work.
When asked what he brings to the program, Carr said “experience at a high level – coaching, strategy, and recruiting.”
The announcement of Carr’s arrival at Davidson detailed the incredibly impressive resume he brings to Wildcat Wrestling. Suffice it to say that wrestling is in his DNA.
Now, Nate Carr is ready to write the next chapter in the book that is Davidson Wrestling. He repeatedly talked about creating a new structure for the program. “You are either trained or untrained. Trained to think the right way, eat the right way, and to also have the right mindset.”
He wants his wrestlers to know that he will have them trained the right way so that when they compete, they will know that they are prepared as best as they can be for the “7-minute go.”
Carr hasn’t wasted any time leveraging his connections in the wrestling community to have world-class wrestlers come to Davidson and visit with the wrestlers. “They are in this room, and they are impacting the guys.”
First-year wrestler Tanner Peake, from Flemington, NJ, was drawn to Davidson for several reasons – from the beautiful campus to the academics. When our discussion shifted to wrestling, he didn’t mince words. Peake wants to “get something started here, make the program known, and be the first All-American.” It wasn’t a cocky comment, but a genuine desire from a talented young wrestler.
Senior Gavin Henry is a 3-year team captain and has moved up from 184-pound class to 197. When asked about making the transition to a new coach in his senior year, Henry focused on trust. Saying that Carr “believes in him just as much” as the coaches who recruited him. “I believe in him, he believes in me, and together we are going to lead this team.”
Davidson’s 22 wrestlers start their season on Nov. 5 at the Southeast Open in Roanoke, VA. Wildcat wrestlers host Michigan State for their first home match on Veterans Day – November 11. The ‘Cats have home matches against Queens and Presbyterian in December, Bellarmine in January, and the Citadel and VMI in February.
Interesting historical note:
While the Wildcats celebrated 100 years of the wrestling program in the 2020-21 academic year, a search of the archives of the Davidson yearbook [Quips & Cranks] reflected the first reference to a coach for the program was in 1923-24. We think Coach Carr will be leading the ‘Cats into their second century of a coached wrestling program.